Advertising spending in paid digital media by the US financial services industry will rise to $7.38 billion by 2017, according to a recent eMarketer report. The study goes on to forecast, “Between 2012 and 2017, industry spending will experience a 9.9% compound annual growth rate.”

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Online ad retargeting has taken off in financial services because of its natural fit with lead nurturing, cross-sell and lifecycle marketing strategies.  For example, a CPA might use retargeting to bring back previous site visitors and convert them into customers during tax season. A banking institution might show investment product ads to a customer who just signed up for a savings account. As 98% of site visitors don’t convert on their first visit to a website, retargeting should be a fundamental part of the online marketing strategy for any financial service or product.

At AdRoll, we’ve seen this trend, too: today we serve over 380 financial services clients—up more than 600% from two years ago. That’s why we’ve built a dedicated team of former financial services marketers who work with clients like Allstate, Capital One, and Chase to make recommendations on how retargeting fits into their digital ad portfolios. We work with trading platforms, payment platforms, credit and investing services, insurers, banks, and credit unions to deliver low-cost high-quality leads, improve brand awareness, and cross-sell products and services.

“As a company that is dependent on performance marketing, we are always exploring new effective options to attract clients,” says Even Aas-Eng, CEO of Venture Factory and AdRoll client. “With the News Feed ads, AdRoll has maintained 27% below our CPA targets.”

Our most successful financial services clients share a few key best practices:

1. Create highly relevant segments

Segment your audience based on differences in visitor behavior and page browsing on your site. With those segmented lists, you can effectively cross-promote services to increase traffic and conversions for complementary products. For example, customers who recently opened a checking account might also be interested in opening a money market account (MMA).

2. Test landing pages

Nowadays new landing pages are relatively simple to launch, so make sure to test multiple variations and tailor them to your audience segments. In the financial industry, there are often specific products to cross-promote or up-sell by audience segment. Don’t lose a highly qualified customer because of a generalized landing page. Instead, give them a more customized experience.

3. Use lifecycle retargeting

Strategically re-engage previous site visitors and customers with reminders for upcoming events and deadlines to maximize conversions. For example, users who have filed their taxes in April might be interested in opening a new brokerage account or IRA.

4. Deploy multiple channels

Standard web retargeting is a tried-and-true method for driving conversions, while social ads can be highly engaging and cost-effective.  Retarget prospects wherever they browse naturally – regardless of the sites they visit or the devices they use (mobile, tablet, or desktop). The ability to target your customers with this degree of flexibility allows you to build effective strategies for every part of your funnel, without being limited by delivery method.

We’ll be on-site at NetFinance 2014 in Miami in April 28-30 and look forward to seeing you. Email us at if you’d like to schedule a time to meet.